3 Reasons Your Business is Better with Treasury Management Services (TMS)
Beth Gilliard, TCB SVP, Treasury Management Services (TMS) Manager and 40+ year banking veteran, gives insight into how small businesses can benefit from TMS
Updated: July 22, 2020
I’ve been in banking for more than 40 years now. Nearly all that time has been spent within the Treasury Management Services (TMS) department.
Many people associate TMS with corporations and large businesses. However, I have been using skills I learned servicing large corporate clients of JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Sterling Bank, a bank later acquired by Comerica for $1 billion, to improve cashflow for Texas Citizens Bank’s small and medium business customers for nearly a decade.
It’s unique for a bank our size to have a TMS department in house. It’s extremely odd that our department is as well-staffed and experienced as we are. But that’s what happens when you build a business around small business needs—and trust me, all businesses need treasury management of some kind. Here’s why:
If you’re unfamiliar with the term Treasury Management Services (TMS), it is essentially all the non-lending, non-deposits services offered by a bank. Think online banking, bill pay, Automated Clearing House (ACH), etc. It’s what helps businesses manage and even improve their cashflow. In other words, we help businesses move faster.
That alone not only justifies the existence of TMS, it also makes us desirable to businesses of all sizes. After all, we simplify all the stuff you hate—payroll, fraud, depositing checks. The reason you hate those things is because they’re unnecessarily clunky and time-consuming. Plus, they take you away from doing what you do best—running your business.
Automate Tedious Tasks
Why not automate all your tedious, money-moving tasks instead? I help customers set up their payroll and sub-accounts on loans, so they get automatically funded as soon as the cash is available. In Treasury Management, this is called a Zero Balance Account (ZBA) or Sweep. Sweep is a perfect name for the service—it puts all the money in its proper place. In other words, these special accounts act as your business’s own mini Treasury Management department. They move idle funds to where they’re most useful and they reduce overdraft fees and time you’d normally spend balancing and optimizing accounts. You and I both know you don’t have time for that.
Get Paid Faster
“When am I getting paid?” That’s the million-dollar question. And as a banker, it’s one I hear frequently. Not only does the answer determine when your personal bank account gets funded and when invoices get paid, but it also helps take advantage of discounts. Treasury Management includes tons of services that speed up the process:
Automated Clearing House (ACH)
When customers ask me about wires, I almost always point them to ACH instead. It’s not only faster and less expensive, it helps reduce check fraud and float time.
Another popular payment solution for businesses is a Lockbox. A Lockbox is a special post office box where payments are directed. Incoming receipts are posted to your account daily. Lockboxes are used for business-to-business (B2B) payments and person-to-business (P2B) payments. The box comes with services that put your incoming payments on a more direct route, automate Accounts Receivable (AR), and improve overall efficiency and accessibility.
Lastly, our online banking (available for business and personal accounts) include Mobile Check Deposit. That’s one you probably already use. It’s the service on your bank app that lets you deposit checks using the camera on your phone.
Remote Deposit Capture (RDC)
Our TMS department also provides a stepped-up version of that idea, Remote Deposit Capture (RDC). RDC is a special scanning machine that lets you deposit several checks at once, including reporting, image copies, and file downloads to Accounts Receivable (AR).
Everyone’s worried about debit card fraud these days. That fear is justified; there’s lots of it going on right now. What is surprising is how much check fraud still goes on. Some scammers prefer check fraud because checks are more “low tech” and straightforward. Also, many businesses still pay high-dollar invoices by check.
Positive Pay is the best guard businesses can take against check fraud. It’s a digital service that integrates into your online banking. It will alert you of check irregularities at the same time every morning.
Treasury Management Is Not Just for Big Businesses
There’s no big barrier of entry for Treasury Management Services. As a business owner, it’s worth your time just to understand all the Treasury Management Services offered—or not offered—by your bank. I personally meet with current and prospective customers to go over their account details. I’ll then recommend ways to optimize their cash and keep it flowing smoothly. After all, even the biggest, most innovative companies run into trouble when they don’t manage their cash well.
If you’d like to learn more about how our TMS team can help your Houston business, give me a call at 713.948.9494.
About the Author
Beth Gilliard is a Senior Vice President and Texas Citizens Bank’s Treasury Management Services Manager. Gilliard has more than 40 years of banking experience, 35 of those years have been dedicated to Treasury Management. She has made a name for herself in Treasury Management Services as an Accredited ACH Professional.
Gilliard is passionate about supporting and educating other women professionals on financial topics and is currently involved in developing a new Houston-area women’s networking and financial education series called Women, Wealth & Wine. This is a free networking and educational series open to the public.